EDMONTON - The head of Alberta's Crown-owned bank will lead a review into how much money companies must pay the provincial government to extract oil and natural gas.Dave Mowat, president and CEO of ATB Financial, has been appointed chairman of the NDP government's royalty review advisory panel."As one of four-million-plus owners of Alberta's natural resources and bringing my understanding of just how important this industry is to Alberta, I want the best possible system for all of us," Mowat said Friday during a new conference at the legislature. Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd said the panel will be responsible for listening to Albertans on what type of royalty structure the province should have.A royalty review was promised by the NDP in the campaign ahead of last month's election.McCuaig-Boyd said Albertans have asked the government to have a look at the royalty system to ensure that it is fair and balanced."I think there was a concern from Albertans — are we getting our fair share, could it be different, could it be better? So we are delivering on that promise."The panel is to conclude its work by the end of this year.Some energy companies have warned that changing the royalty structure will add more uncertainty to an industry that is suffering due to low oil prices.The Alberta government created Alberta Treasury Branches in 1938 as a temporary measure during the Great Depression to give Albertans an alternative source of credit. It became a provincial Crown corporation in 1997 and changed its name to ATB Financial in 2002.
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